Pre-startup maintenance on a bike sitting for 6 months?

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shalihe74
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Pre-startup maintenance on a bike sitting for 6 months?

#1 Unread post by shalihe74 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:18 pm

Hey folks,

I bought an '06 Triumph Daytona in September from a dealership in MN; my now-ex-boyfriend picked it up, rode it a couple miles and then stuck it in the garage until late November when he shipped it down to me in AZ.

I got the bike in early December but he still hasn't sent me the keys. (In retrospect, I should have waited to dump him 'til I got the keys. :) ) I got the dealership to cut me some new keys earlier this month and went to check out the bike: dead battery. I have a new battery arriving any day, at which point I'll finally get to start my beautiful 'baby' up.

But the bike has been sitting for 6 months. Is there any maintenance that I should perform before firing the bike up to avoid damaging it? Let me also add that the ex, before shipping, didn't drain any of the fluids or do anything else to prepare it for sitting unused for half a year. I expect to have to change the oil; is there anything else y'all can recommend I do?

Thanks so much for any assistance y'all can offer!

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#2 Unread post by Johnj » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm

You should have picked the bike up yourself, instead of using your soon to be dumped boyfriend like a doormat.
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Take it to the Triumph dealer and have them do a major service to it.

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#3 Unread post by shalihe74 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:06 pm

Goodness. Ask for motorcycle help and get relationship commentary.

For the record, I did not "use" my ex. He lives in ND; he was going to move to AZ with me (in September; I came here for grad school) and bring my bike (and his - for which I cosigned, by the way) along. After 4 months of delays on his part, I suggested he ship the bikes down (he said he was afraid to drive them down himself) and then make his way here at his leisure. After another month of "Oh, I'll be there on x day" and then last minute 'changes of plans', I cut him loose. I paid for the bikes to be shipped; I'll probably also end up paying to have his bike shipped back to ND when the weather warms up (and my name comes off the loan).

Oh, I'm also paying to fix the damages to my bike that occurred when he dropped it during his ~5 mile ride. (Damages that he told me were fixed when the bike got shipped... )

So, yeah... I used him like a doormat to the tune of my having paid $1500 in shipping charges ($1000 to get them down here, probably another $500 to send his bike back) and about $600 - so far - in repairs to my brand-new bike.


Now... stepping away from the irrelevant issues, you truly believe major service is in order? Or was that a snarky reply born out of a misplaced sense of boy-solidarity?

I really do appreciate any motorcycle-related advice; judgement calls on my past relationship are less than welcome, unless you're willing to hear the entire story (of which the above is just a small part). :)

Thanks again for any help.

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#4 Unread post by The549 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:28 pm

It seems your bike is carbureted, which in my experience means you may have trouble with gas varnish buildup. The bike I just bought had been sitting for 4 months and needed a petcock overhaul and a carburetor dismantling and soaking. I also had an old Nighthawk that needed the same thing after sitting.

Other than that check all the basic things like tires, fluids, and battery.

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#5 Unread post by The549 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:34 pm

Ooops, actually I guess your bike is fuel injected, in which case check the gas lines, but I don't know how those hold up sitting for that long.

Wow, and is this your bike? I hate to give you more relationship advice, but I woulda dumped him as soon as he dumped THIS:

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#6 Unread post by BlueBomber » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:43 pm

The549 is right: that bike is hotness on two wheels. He dropped the baby.

think of it like those public service ads about shaken baby syndrome:

Never drop the baby. NEVER DROP THE BABY.

that is all.

\/\/

(I'm sorry, I don't know a whole lot about bringing a bike back after it's been sitting, or i'd help more! by the way, i'm always willing to talk to random people and stuff, even if it's a long winded story about a bike dropper!)
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#7 Unread post by sharpmagna » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:42 pm

You probably don't need a new battery, just throw the current one on a battery tender and get it charged up. Definitely change out the oil. Try to see if you can just use a high cocentration of Seafoam in your gas. Seafoam "might" be able to loosen up the varnished gas, but no guarantee.
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#8 Unread post by ofblong » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:17 pm

sharpmagna wrote:You probably don't need a new battery, just throw the current one on a battery tender and get it charged up. Definitely change out the oil. Try to see if you can just use a high cocentration of Seafoam in your gas. Seafoam "might" be able to loosen up the varnished gas, but no guarantee.
what he said. a batter minder is much cheaper than a new battery and your better off having one anyways. I bought mine at walmart for like $20 and it took all of like an hour to charge my bike battery at 2amps. The oil I would change as well. I am about to bring my bike out after being up for 4 weeks due to snowing every friggen day.
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#9 Unread post by shalihe74 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:44 pm

Thank you SO much for the advice, everyone.

Re: a new battery. I took mine in to see if they could put a charge back on it, and they said it was deader than a doornail. (They=the local dealership). They could have been lying, but I didn't get that vibe. Regardless, the new battery ($100! And I think I got a 'chick' discount on it, too.) is on the way and I'm definitely going to get a trickle charger to keep from having to deal with a dead battery again.

So... oil change, fuel lines & Seafoam. Check.

The549: yep, that's my bike. Except mine is red! And I agree, I probably should have dumped the boy as soon as the bike hit the ground but, if I had, the bike would probably still be with the keys... in ND! :eek:

Blue: That's too funny! I'm afraid of laughing too hard, though, for fear of jinxing myself when I finally get on the bike. I can see myself throttling off thinking 'Ok, easy does it... never drop the baby, heee hee heeee' *plop* 'Aw, poo.' :lol:

Thanks again, folks. I really appreciate the help!

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#10 Unread post by Ninja Geoff » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:37 pm

Also, give ALL the systems a good once over. Check brake lines and fluid, check engine coolant, check tires and tire preasures, check chain tension, clean and lube chain, etc, etc. Grab yourself a nice service manual if you can.
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#11 Unread post by The549 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:23 am

shalihe74 wrote:Thank you SO much for the advice, everyone.

Re: a new battery. I took mine in to see if they could put a charge back on it, and they said it was deader than a doornail. (They=the local dealership). They could have been lying, but I didn't get that vibe. Regardless, the new battery ($100! And I think I got a 'chick' discount on it, too.) is on the way and I'm definitely going to get a trickle charger to keep from having to deal with a dead battery again.

So... oil change, fuel lines & Seafoam. Check.

The549: yep, that's my bike. Except mine is red! And I agree, I probably should have dumped the boy as soon as the bike hit the ground but, if I had, the bike would probably still be with the keys... in ND! :eek:

Blue: That's too funny! I'm afraid of laughing too hard, though, for fear of jinxing myself when I finally get on the bike. I can see myself throttling off thinking 'Ok, easy does it... never drop the baby, heee hee heeee' *plop* 'Aw, poo.' :lol:

Thanks again, folks. I really appreciate the help!
Well, I can forgive you for the color, but at least you got your bike back and running (?) !

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#12 Unread post by Johnj » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:45 am

Major service includes fuel system clean and check, valve adjustment, clutch adjustment, replace all fluids, check brakes, tires, forks, rear suspension, in other words the entire bike. These are the things that need to be done at least once a year, you can do them yourself or you can get somebody else to do them.

Now that we have your side of the relationship story, I'd be willing to bet the guy feels like you used him and dumped him. There's always the other persons point of view to consider.

As for damaging your Triumph, that does show he'd a little vindictive punk.

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#13 Unread post by sharpmagna » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:58 am

$100 for a battery!!!? My truck's battery doesn't even cost that much! The battery for my 87 Magna only cost $35.
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#14 Unread post by ofblong » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:16 pm

sharpmagna wrote:$100 for a battery!!!? My truck's battery doesn't even cost that much! The battery for my 87 Magna only cost $35.
she probably bought it from the dealer instead of someplace like autozone thus she paid the premium.
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#15 Unread post by flynrider » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:57 pm

ofblong wrote: she probably bought it from the dealer instead of someplace like autozone thus she paid the premium.
Quite likely. Normal things like oil filters and batteries are generally way overpriced at dealers. Add another 25% on top of that if it happens to be a Triumph dealer.

I've always bought my batteries at K-Mart. Same ones that the dealer has, but never more than $35 or so.
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#16 Unread post by shalihe74 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:01 pm

Thank you, everyone, for your awesome advice. I did as y'all advised and then took the bike out for a spin. Engine seemed to heat up too much and too fast, had a look around - the plastic coupling & grommet between the coolant tank and the engine had busted when el ex dropped it.

Ordered the part - which came in yesterday - popped it on and took my bike through his paces.

I can tell ya, the reviews on that bike are spot on: a phenomenal ride but sissy pipes. (Next project, I suppose...) First is a little sticky, so I kept stalling until I found his sweet spot but when I did... oh my oh my oh my. I'm so in love.

Thanks again, everyone, for your help! :bliss:

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#17 Unread post by sharpmagna » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:57 pm

Pics of the actual bike please :)

You with the bike would be a bonus 8)
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#18 Unread post by shalihe74 » Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:52 pm

As requested. It's just me here to take pictures, so you'll just have to gaze lovingly at the bike and use your imagination for the rider.

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#19 Unread post by Shorts » Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:59 pm

Beautifl bike! 8)


I kinda miss AZ (we have some family in Tucson) and the weather is always great! (if you like the clear skies and sun thing) :mrgreen:

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#20 Unread post by flynrider » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:57 am

And Sat. was a perfect day to ride. Temps in the mid 70s and calm here in Phoenix on Sat. I had a big list of chores and errands to do, but once I got on the road, I just kept riding. Didn't get back until around 6:30 PM.

The downside is that in 2 months it'll be miserably hot.
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